Friday, September 29, 2006

Cold Spring, Warm Food

Okay, so that headline makes no sense, but it's all I can do right now. We (my boyfriend, Ryan, who is visiting from Minneapolis and I) just arrived back in the city from Cold Spring, NY, a town that can only be described as "quaint." It's about an hour trip on the Metro-North commuter train, just north of West Point.

Cold Spring's downtown consists of Main Street, which extends from the train depot uphill towards Route 9. This main drag comprises less than a quarter mile of "charming" cafes and "adorable" shops where you can buy knick-nacks and doo-dads that you don't need or want but think somebody must be buying them because these shops stay open all year round. Ryan's favorite was a little painted plaque that quoted this line from the Wizard of Oz: "Nobody Sees the Wizard. Not no body. Not no how."

We found our B & B, the Pig Hill Inn, and were greeted by a young innkeeper who bounded up the three flights of stairs faster than I could follow, and disapeared soon after showing us our room. More about him later.

We explored pretty much all we could of the town and chose a decent lunch joint, where the Ruben sandwich was crispy and had just enough dressing to keep the salty corned beef nice and moist.

After spending the afternoon walking, sitting by the Hudson, and reading in the room, I decided the only way we were going to find nightlife in this town on a Thursday would be to create it ourselves. I suggested we do a two-person pub crawl from the top of the hill to the bottom. We started at the place we had lunch, whose name escapes me, and had beer and "onion petals" (basically, onion rings in the shape of chips instead of circles). Then we walked downhill a bit and crossed the street to the Tuscan Grill, where Ryan said his orichette with gorganzola and walnuts was "The best pasta [he's] ever eaten." My gnocchi with lamb ragu wasn't too shabby either.

Then it was down to McGuire's (not sure if this is the real name, but "insert generic Irish pub name here" didn't seem right), whose best attribute was the old-school Ms. Pacman/Frogger arcade game that only cost $0.25 a pop. If you ask Ryan, he'll tell you who won our two-game championship, but I don't care to mention it here.

After two beers, the inaugural Ryan & Suzanne Pub Crawl came to a sputtering finish, as we decided we'd rather light a fire in our b & b stove and sleep off the meal than try to drink our way down main street (which, by the way, had only one more establishment to offer us that we hadn't tried yet).

Sleep came quickly, but my bladder woke me up in the middle of the night. I flipped on the light in the bathroom and was horrified to find a large, shiny, black insect awaiting me. I silently freaked out and crept into the room (not wanting to be one of those prissy girls who wakes up her boyfriend at 3 a.m. to kill a bug but secretly hoping I would be) and grabbed the hardest shoe I could find. I snuck up on my creepy nemesis and attacked him as he tried to get under the bath mat. His leg remained on the floor and the rest of him got smushed under the mat (I assume, but didn't dare to look).

After doing my business, I slipped back into bed, heart racing and mind conjuring up all sorts of possible creepy crawlies waiting to feast on my nocturnal flesh. It didn't help that Ryan had told me he'd seen a cockroach-looking thing earlier in the evening, or that I had somehow acquired an itchy bite on my arm since initially going to bed. Needless to say, it took me a while to fall back asleep.

The complimentary breakfast of fruit, waffles and sausage, though slowly served because of the 9 a.m. rush and lack of servers, was almost enough to make me forget about the buggy incident of the night before. Almost.

At check-out, I mentioned my encounter with what I thought had been cockroach and was surprised to hear the innkeeper vigorously dismiss my complaint. "We've never EVER had cockroaches here. You say you're from New York? Maybe you brought them with you." I'm not kidding, those were his exact words. I told him to go look under the bath mat. He didn't offer any discount, and I didn't offer any tip (for which there was an optional line on the credit card slip). I thought it was an awful lot of money to pay to share a room with insects. What's more, there were strange brown stains on the bedspread and blanket, and I saw some little bugs in the netting above the canopy bed. He told me to call the front desk later when Vera, the proprieter would be around, that maybe I could "squeeze a couple of dollars out of her."

Back in the city, I called up Vera, but the innkeeper answered. He informed me that the bug I had squashed under the bath mat was not a cockroach, but a cricket, and that he knew there was no way they could have roaches there. I said that's all well and good, but that I'd like to speak with Vera. When Vera finally called me back a couple hours later, she was equally defensive on the phone. "You didn't recognize it was a cricket?" she asked when I said I was freaked out to find a cockroach in the middle of the night. Despite the fact that that was not the point, she didn't seem to be bending over backwards to apologize for what was an unacceptable experience, in my book. She said that the Inn is in the country, and that sometimes critters get in. Fine. But they don't usually get in to the places I pay good money to sleep in. And as for the strange stains on the bedspread, she explained that about a week ago, a guest had spilled red wine on the "very expensive" comforter, and that they had washed it thoroughly and were waiting for a replacement. She was sorry that I didn't know that ahead of time. Me, too.

If this were any other high-end B & B with a certain class of clientele, the management would go out of their way to make the customer want to come back. There would be no argument. They would either take some money off the bill, or waive the price entirely. Not so at the Pig Hill. And that's why I'm not going back. Not no way. Not no how.


Blogger Donny B said...

I think you should send the inn a whole box of live cockroaches. See if they like that can tell what kind of insect it is, then.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Done and done.

2:09 PM  

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